If you’re in healthcare IT (or just IT in general) and you don’t already ready John Halamka’s blog, you really should. His recent post on The Perfect EHR is well worth the read for any IT leader fighting pressure from their business counterparts to replace an existing core system with something (anything) new.
It should also serve as a cautionary tale for senior executives thinking of approving a change just because a core constituency group keeps asking for it.
A really key point is made in the quote below:
…after listening to many “grass is greener” stories, I believe that what a provider perceives as a better EHR often represents trade offs in functionality. One EHR may have better prescribing functionality while another has better letters, another is more integrated and another has better support. The “best” EHRs, according to providers, varies by what is most important to that individual provider/practice, which may not be consistent with enterprise goals…There will always be dissatisfaction and a claim that something is better. However, I’ve never seen a change in product fix workflow and process issues.
In a soceity (both on a personal and professional level) that relies increasingly on techology, it is always tempting to think that the latest-and-greatest will solve all of my issues and problems. The fallacy with this thinking is that the underlying technology may not be the root cause or the final fix for what is actually wrong.
Technology companies, however, are really very good at holding up the shiny new toy in front of all of us and telling us that if you just have THIS all of your problems will go away. You very recently saw that with the iPhone 4S and at least one reporter is pointing out this exact same issue with the not-yet-released-but-rumored iPad 3.
(Disclosure: I am a very happy owner if an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2 and have no intention of upgrading either device any time soon.)
So, before you advocate for a rip-and-replace of software or even just a basic hardware upgrade ask yourself two questions:
- What do I truly stand to gain from the upgrade?
- Are there underlying process issues that, if corrected, would remove the perceived need to upgrade?
After all, as Model-Netics teaches us in Acres of Diamonds, the first place to look for a better opportunity (and outcome) is usually in your present situation.